The buzz could be felt all around the Wachovia Center at 1:00 PM this afternoon, as the Pittsburgh Penguins were in town to face off with the Philadelphia Flyers. This was the first time the Penguins had traveled to Philadelphia all year.
Heading into the game, the Flyers and Penguins were tied with 36 points each. The winner would take over sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Conference.
The winner would also take a hold of fourth place in the conference (with the third most points in conference).
First Period Overview:
A quick holding penalty on Evgeni Malkin opened the door for a Flyers goal, but the Penguins held strong. Then just a few minutes after the penalty, Matt Cooke was sent to the sin bin giving the Flyers their second powerplay opportunity.
This time the Flyers capitalized on their opportunity when Joffrey Lupul tucked home his ninth goal of the season. Kimmo Timonen and Jeff Carter tagged along for the assists as well.
Almost six minutes later, the Flyers struck again on the powerplay. Mike Knuble (above) battled in front of the net and cashed in the pick when it came his way. It was his 11th goal and his fifth powerplay goal thus far this year. Kimmo Timonen recorded his second assist of the game while Mike Richards tallied his first.
That was all she wrote for the first period as the Flyers took a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
First Period Recap:
Score: Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 0
Goal Summary: Philadelphia—Joffrey Lupul, Mike Knuble; Pittsburgh—none
Shots: Philadelphia—13, Pittsburgh—6
Penalty Minutes: Pittsburgh—8, Philadelphia—6
Second Period Overview:
The first six minutes of the second period were uneventful. However, in the seventh minute mark, the Penguins got on the board. Jordan Staal knocked in his 10th goal of the season 7:08 into the period, making the score 2-1. Assists went to Alex Goligoski and Ruslan Fedotenko.
Three minutes later, the Flyers took over. Mike Richards' wrist shot led to his 12th goal of the season, giving the Flyers the 3-1 lead. Matt Carle was the long assist.
Just two minutes after that goal, Scott Hartnell scored his fourth goal in two games (his 10th overall). Matt Carle and Jeff Carter both assisted on the goal.
A 4-1 lead wasn't good enough though, as the Flyers were "Hungry for More," and Mike Knuble wanted seconds.
With 2:56 remaining in the period, Knuble hit in his second goal of the night and his 12th of the year. This also came on the powerplay, and assists went to Mike Richards and Kimmo Timonen.
The scoring ended there, as the Flyers took a commanding 5-1 lead into the locker room.
Second Period Recap:
Score: Philadelphia 5, Pittsburgh 1
Goal Summary: Philadelphia—Mike Richards, Scott Hartnell, Mike Knuble; Pittsburgh—Jordan Staal
Shots: Pittsburgh—12, Philadelphia—6
Penalty Minutes: Pittsburgh—2, Philadelphia—0
Third Period Overview:
With a 5-1 lead, the Flyers looked to be in a very good position to win handily. As time passed on, the chances of a blow-out grew even more.
A Penguins goal by Eric Godard (his second in over two years) gave the Penguins some hope, but it was too little too late. Petr Sykora and Evgeni Malkin assisted the goal, which came 11:06 into the period.
Four minutes later, Jeff Carter responded with a powerplay goal, his 20th goal of the season. Joffrey Lupul and Kimmo Timonen grabbed assists on the play, giving Timonen his fourth assist of the afternoon.
Ruslan Fedotenko scored a goal of his own with 1:35 remaining in the third (assists coming from Petr Sykora and Jeff Taffe), alleviating the pain a bit for the Penguins. Yet, the score was still 6-3. That score held up for the last minute and 35 seconds, as the Flyers came away winners.
Third Period Recap:
Score: Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 3
Goal Summary: Philadelphia—Jeff Carter; Pittsburgh—Eric Godard, Ruslan Fedotenko
Shots: Philadelphia—8, Pittsburgh—8
Penalty Minutes: Philadelphia—9, Pittsburgh—9
Final Score: Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 3
Goal Summary: Philadelphia—Mike Knuble (2), Scott Hartnell, Jeff Carter, Joffrey Lupul, Mike Richards; Pittsburgh—Jordan Staal, Eric Godard, Ruslan Fedotenko
Overall Shots: Philadelphia—27, Pittsburgh—26
Overall Penalty Minutes: Pittsburgh—19, Philadelphia—15
Attendance: 19,811 (101.6 percent full)
Third Star: Mike Knuble—2 goals
Second Star: Mike Richards—1 goal, 2 assists
First Star: Kimmo Timonen—4 assists
With this win, the Flyers take sole possession of second place in the Atlantic and move into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers are just two points behind the New York Rangers, with three games in hand.
The Flyers, now winners of 11 out of their last 14 games (16-7-6 overall), next hit the ice on Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche at home. The Avalanche are 14-14-1 on the year, and are 5-4-1 in their last 10.
On Monday, the Avalanche will battle the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit, giving them back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday, which may give the advantage to open the game to the Flyers.